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Tag: Walmart


Tacoma: Big box moratorium to continue, but WalMart will avoid it

Tacoma’s temporary ban on new big box stores will continue, but the controversial Wal-Mart proposal that sparked the city’s moratorium in the first place will no longer be affected by it.

Instead, under an amended version of the box store moratorium approved by the City Council’s 6 to 3 vote Tuesday, the Wal-Mart Supercenter planned for the sprawling Elks’ property in Central Tacoma can move ahead through the city’s development process.

Several council members said Tuesday while they didn’t necessarily like it, the city’s hands were effectively tied. The WalMart application already had been deemed complete and was “vested” when the council’s original moratorium kicked in on Sept. 1, they said. That meant the development was destined to happen, moratorium or not.

“Yeah, a lot of us are frustrated,” Councilman David Boe told a crowd who showed up at Tuesday’s meeting to denounce the planned WalMart. “It’s not unique to the audience — this is a frustrating situation.”

Still, Boe said the city’s land use code, which the moratorium seeks to allow the time to review and update, is legally bound to be “company blind.” and apply fairly to all applicants.

“I know a lot of people don’t want to hear that,” said Boe, who helped draft the amended moratorium. “…But I think this is fair and looks at our code objectively.”

Some opponents of the measure said they appreciated the council’s efforts, but vowed to continue to fight the project. They’ll key on state environmental policy act requirements, they said.

“We’ll try to fight it that way,” said Tricia DeOme, president of the Central Neighborhood Council. “I know (council members are) scared of lawsuits and there weren’t the votes, so there was no reason for us to fight them about this.’
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Tacoma: City building officials put WalMart project sited for Elks property “on hold”

City building officials have put a controversial WalMart project in Central Tacoma “on hold,” telling representatives for the retailer that their building application for a new Super Center contained a design too big for the parcel it’s sited for.

“During preliminary review it was noted that the plat configuration … does not accurately reflect the existing parcel configuration,” city building official Charlie Solverson wrote in a letter to WalMart representatives dated Sept. 16.

But, if WalMart revises its existing application so the development fits within the parcel’s footprint, the application can move ahead, a city spokesman said.

“As submitted, it doesn’t fit,” spokesman Rob McNair-Huff said.  If WalMart were to submit a revision, he added, “It would really be up to them to decide whether to change the size of the building or parking lot. But whatever they do, it would need to fit within the footprint.”

Steven Restivo, a spokesman for Wal-Mart, did not immediately return a phone call Monday. Doug Oberst, of BCRA, a Tacoma architecture firm working on the project, declined comment.

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